Bringing the Text to Life
Look at the vein in the back of your hand. What makes it red?
Hemoglobin. What makes hemoglobin?
Iron. Where do we get iron?
Only from the stars. And if a mineral is heavier than iron, it's been made in a supernova. In other words, we do not have an atom in our bodies that isn't the product of some dead star.
God made us from the "dust of the ground," Genesis declares (2:7), but it must have been stardust, the swirling stuff of exploding gas and dust that is flung into interstellar space as a dying star's core collapses.
I have a friend who pastors Royal Palms Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Landrum P. Leavell III ends his letters with a greeting that fits the desert Southwest: "Keep the Son in Your Eyes." What our Epiphany text is saying to us is something similar: "Keep the stars in your eyes."
Keep the stars in your eyes when you look at yourself. Did you ever stop to think how celestial are our very dustiness, our ashiness, our earthiness? "Dust thou art and to dust...